USWNT REWIND: Champions League Quarterfinals Kick Off in Europe

While the U.S. Women’s National Team learned its group stage opponents and pathway for the 2024 Summer Games on March 20 at the Olympic Draw in Paris, a busy week of club action at home and abroad kicked off on March 19 with the quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Chelsea FC opened its quarterfinal campaign with a 3-0 victory over Ajax on Tuesday evening in Amsterdam. Chelsea took a 2-0 lead at the half and added to its advantage late in the match as Catarina Macario, who came on as a second-half substitute for the Blues in her first Champions League action since scoring for Olympique Lyon in the 2021-22 Final, assisted Chelsea’s third goal with a perfectly whipped in cross from the right wing in the 83rd minute. 


Later Tuesday evening, Lyon battled back to earn a 2-1 victory over Benfica on the road. The Portuguese side look a 1-0 lead just before halftime, but the perennial French powers equalized in the 63rd minute. Lyon scored the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute as Lindsey Horan’s left-footed cross picked out Sara Debritz at the top of the six-yard box and the German international headed in the game-winning goal.


Paris Saint-Germain also opened the UWCL Quarterfinals in victorious fashion with a 2-1 win over Swedish side BK Hacken. USWNT midfielder Korbin Albert went the full 90 minutes for PSG in the road win.

Albert carried that momentum into the weekend, scoring the second goal of her professional career and her first goal in league play in PSG’s 3-1 victory over Montpellier on Sunday afternoon. Albert’s goal, which proved to be the game winner, came in the 43rd minute as she unleashed a left-footed attempt into the top right corner from just outside the penalty area.


Macario also carried her midweek form into the weekend, tallying another assist in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West Ham United. Holding just a 1-0 lead late in the match, Macario served a dangerous corner kick into the box in the 88th minute, which was well controlled and finished by Scottish international Erin Cuthbert. Macario now has four goal contributions – two goals and two assists – across all competitions in six appearances for Chelsea following her long return to the pitch after tearing her ACL in June of 2022.

Macario, Chelsea and incoming USWNT head coach Emma Hayes will have the chance to play for a trophy on Sunday, March 31, when they face Arsenal FC in the Conti Cup Final. Arsenal, which trails Chelsea by six points in the Women’s Super League standings, came back to beat Aston Villa 3-1 Sunday afternoon. Emily Fox played the full 90 minutes for the Gunners in the victory.

In the NWSL, the Chicago Red Stars made it two wins in two games to start the 2024 regular season. After finishing at the bottom of the table last season, the resurgent Red Stars opened the season with a 2-0 win on the road last weekend and then topped the Seattle Reign 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at their home opener in Bridgeview, Ill.

The Kansas City Current, who finished 11th out of 12 teams in 2023, also continued their hot start to the 2024 season, making it two wins in two games with a 2-1 road win over San Diego Wave FC in front of a large crowd on Saturday. The Wave took the lead in the lead in the 17th minute but the Current equalized in the 44th to send the teams into the locker room level. Although San Diego, winners of the 2023 NWSL Supports Shield and 2024 NWSL Challenge Cup, dominated on the flanks and controlled possession, the Current earned a converted a penalty kick in the 71st minute to come away with the victory.

Coming off a loss to the Wave in last weekend’s Challenge Cup, reigning NWSL champions NJ/NY Gotham FC earned their first victory of the 2024 regular season with a 1-0 road win over Portland Thorns FC. The hard-fought affair featured a combined 31 fouls and five yellow cards as Gotham ultimately prevailed behind a goal from Spanish international Esther in the 72nd minute.

The Utah Royals earned their first victory since returning to the league with a 2-1 victory over the North Carolina Courage on Friday night in Sandy, Utah. The Royals opened the scoring in the 15th minute as defender Kate Del Fava headed in the club’s first goal of the season off a corner kick, but the Courage equalized in the 26th minute as Ashley Sanchez netted her first goal for her new club.


The lead was short-lived as 2024 No. 1 overall draft pick and Under-20 USWYNT midfielder Ally Sentnor netted her first professional goal on a spectacular strike to put the Royals back in front. Sentnor’s goal proved to be the game-winner as the Courage were unable to convert two attempts from the penalty spot in the second half and Utah’s defense held strong for the victory.

The Washington Spirit picked up their first victory of the season with a thrilling 2-1 win at Audi Field over Bay FC. The visitors from Northern California, who won their inaugural match to open the season, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute but the Spirit quickly responded with a goal in the 23rd, which was assisted by USWNT forward Trinity Rodman. The teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 deep into second-half stoppage time until Ashley Hatch and WYNT product Croix Bethune combined in the 90+5th minute for the dramatic game winner.

The Orlando Pride continued their unbeaten to start the season, earning a second consecutive draw on Friday night against Angel City FC. Angel City took the lead from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute but the Pride equalized in the 88th off a goal from Brazilian legend Marta to end the match at 1-1.

Racing Louisville FC also remains unbeaten on the year with two draws in two games, playing the Houston Dash to a 0-0 draw. The result marked the first clean sheet of the season for Jane Campbell, the longtime Houston Dash netminder and 2023 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year.

Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.

Wednesday, March 27
UWCL – Quarterfinals: Olympique Lyon vs. Benfica 1:45 p.m. DAZN
UWCL – Quarterfinals: Chelsea FC vs. Ajax 4:00 p.m. DAZN
Thursday, March 28
UWCL – Quarterfinals: Paris Saint-Germain vs. BK Hacken FF 4:00 p.m. DAZN
Friday, March 29
NWSL: Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars 7:00 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: San Diego Wave FC vs. Seattle Reign FC 10:00 p.m. Prime Video
Saturday, March 30
NWSL: Kansas City Current vs. Angel City FC 3:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN+
NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC 7:00 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: Portland Thorns FC vs. Racing Louisville FC 7:30 p.m. ION
NWSL: Bay FC vs. Houston Dash 10:00 p.m. ION
Sunday, March 31
D1 Féminine: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Dijon 8:30 a.m.  
FA Women’s Super League: West Ham United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion 10:00 a.m. The FA Player
FA WSL Cup Final - Arsenal FC vs. Chelsea FC 10:00 a.m. The FA Player
D1 Féminine: Olympique Lyon vs. Le Havre 3:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network
NWSL: Washington Spirit vs. Utah Royals 1:00 p.m. NWSL+